Keeping It Safe

1 decade 1 year 5 months ago Monday, May 07 2007 May 7, 2007 Monday, May 07, 2007 6:14:50 PM CDT May 07, 2007 in News

Those involved say it's a tagteam effort between the state and local bartenders. Local bartenders, like Jeramiah Soles, does more than pour drinks for his customers. He keeps a close eye on them and sometimes he takes care of them.

"I give them some water and if their not bothering anybody I let them sober up," Soles, a bartender at The Heidelburg, said.

Five years in the business has shown Soles how important bartenders can be to keeping people safe.

"The servers could be better informed, but as far as like changing things, I mean, it's all about whoever's serving that drink or whoever's judging that person," Soles said.

The problem starts inside but the state offers classes so that bartenders, waiters and waitresses know what to do so it doesn't end up out on the street.

"We do conduct about 175 server trainings throughout the year to help bartenders and cocktail waitresses determine what exactly is an intoxicated person," said Terri Durdaller of the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.

"We haven't had anyone come into the establishment but it's a class we're supposed to take," Soles said.

Bartenders are supposed to take the class, but it's not required. Missouri is one of thirty-three states that doesn't force bar staff to take these classes. But Soles says a class can't replace simply knowing your customers.

"You don't know, unless you really know the person, if they've had enough," Soles said.

Thirty-six alcohol and tobacco control agents patrol the state.

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